My grandson Ananais will soon have his initiation and begin his journey into the Law of Men. Just like Mululmi, my brother's son, who was initiated into the Law last Dry Season.
It is time for seven-year-old Ananais to begin his transition from boy to man. The elders of his clan want him to learn how to live in the land of his ancestors and to protect him from the corruptions of an individualist contemporary society. His initiation will take many years. There is still time to play, catch yabbies and be silly.
Ananais and his family live in Dhuruputjpi, an indigenous community in North East Arnhem Land. The community is doing its best to integrate the laws of their ancestors with the demands of life in the twenty-first century. Their efforts are made all the more challenging because of new government policies and the government's pressure to close what they regard as 'un-economic outstations'.
Told from the perspectives of Ananais and his community elders, In My Father's Country is a personal story. The documentary is also an important social and cultural document given its portrayal of the everyday life and the ceremonies of indigenous society.
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